Monday, March 14, 2005
Greg's favorite audition story (and mine)...which do you think is better?
At our very first auditions 12 years ago — this was at New Conservatory Theatre — an actor wandered in from a Sam Shepard audition down the hall. Stephanie and I looked warily at each other, because he looked like he might suddenly go postal on us — he had the Shepard grunge look down pat. So, he’d never auditioned for a musical before, but Stephanie had a fake book there and he looked through it and found one song he knew, which he then proceeded to sing for us. It was "I Enjoy Being a Girl" from FLOWER DRUM SONG. Over the years, when directors and casting directors get together and nosh over audition stories, we can always trump their aces with this one.
So, contestant #1: grungy Sam Shephard-type singing "I Enjoy Being a Girl" for his first musical audition ever.
I did a couple of summers in stock at the Barn Theatre in Michigan, that's where I got my Equity card. Each year they auditioned for new apprentices in Chicago, and as you can imagine got a broad variety of skill levels in those auditions.
The first year I worked there the big audition story was this: a girl had come in to audition for an apprentice position. She pulled out "Let's Call the Whole Thing Off" by CORRECTION: The Gershwins to sing. [Note: Thanks to reader KH for correcting my egregious, can't-believe-I-made-it error of saying it was by Cole porter. I hang my head in shame.]
In case you don't know it by its title, that's the "You say Potato; I say Potahto. You say Tomato; I say Tomahto; You say eether; I say eyether" song.
Only this girl didn't quite get it. She got up and sang it, completely serious and determined:
"You say potato; I say potato
You say tomato; I say tomato
Potato, potato, tomato, tomato
Let's call the whole thing off"
OK, it might be a little more hilarious when you hear it.
Anyway, I always crack up because I try to imagine what she thought the song was actually about!
Contestant #2: Clueless girl singing Cole.
What do you think?
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